President Trump on Thursday did not wear a mask during a tour of a Ford factory in Michigan being used to produce ventilators, despite the company’s policy requiring everyone to wear personal protective equipment to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
The president walked around the factory floor without a face covering, even as Ford executives who joined him wore masks.
Prior to the tour, only GOP Senate candidate John James and Detroit Medical Center CEO Audrey Gregory wore masks during a roundtable with African American leaders. Gregory took off her mask to speak during the event, where individuals were spaced out around a table.
“I had one on before. I wore one in this back area, but I didn’t want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it,” Trump told reporters when asked about his lack of a face covering.
Reporter: "Could you just take us through your thought process of why you decided not to wear a mask."
President Trump: "I had one on before. I wore one in this back area — but I didn't want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it." pic.twitter.com/AmJXUecymp
— The Hill (@thehill) May 21, 2020
Trump said company officials told him a mask was not necessary during the tour. Asked if that was true, an executive replied “it’s up to him.”
“Bill Ford encouraged President Trump to wear a mask when he arrived,” the company said in a statement shortly after the president concluded his visit. “He wore a mask during a private viewing of three Ford GTs from over the years. The President later removed the mask for the remainder of the visit.”
Asked earlier in the day if he would wear a mask, Trump wouldn’t directly answer. But he seemed to indicate going without a mask would signal he was ready for the country to return to normal.
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